The price of safety – Protection programs may cost more than identity theft itself

Identity theft is a growing problem, and growing with it is what John Weber, vice president of security for Washington Trust Bank, calls "a fairly new cottage industry."

With insurance companies adding identity theft coverage separately or as an add-on to existing policies, banks providing a variety of fee-based services, and specialty companies hyping the fears to entice consumers to buy their plans, identity theft means growth not just in the underground market but in the "legitimate" world as well.

Some are not shy about exaggerating the problem while making their sales pitch.

Staff writer

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